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Beta Software


Term used to describe software which is almost fully developed but not yet quite ready for release to the market, or internal users. The Beta version of the software is preceded by the alpha version. Beta versions of commercial programs are often made available to consumers at attractive prices on the basis that there are numerous bugs still to be sorted out, and the first batches of users to install the product are, effectively, taking part in an enormous acceptance testing programme. The developer will take note of the findings and comments made by Beta users to incorporate modifications, fixes, patches, etc., in the version which is finally released.

Beta versions of software, whether purchased or developed in-house, should not be installed on live systems and should never be used for mission critical processes.

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